(Duane Ludwig lands a left against Jim Miller at UFC 108 – photo Hedges/Zuffa)
Duane “Bang” Ludwig’s return to the Ultimate Fighting Championship against fast-rising lightweight Jim Miller at UFC 108 ended in disappointment, via first round submission. The match lasted a mere 2:31, and Ludwig was outmatched almost every second of it. However, the Muay Thai striker now has a shot at redemption in the UFC 155-pound division as he will welcome UFC-newcomer Darren Elkins to the cage at “UFC Live: Vera vs. Jones”.
Although Elkins will be making his debut with the promotion on March 21, he is hardly going to be a walk in the park for Ludwig. At 9-1, “The Damage” has earned a spot on the lightweight roster of the UFC with seven of his nine victories coming via stoppage. While Elkins may have been quite the force as of late, the UFC rookie will have a distinct disadvantage in several aspects of the fight game when he meets Ludwig in Colorado.
Ludwig’s decade-long career consists of a total of 29 professional mixed martial arts fights, featuring an impressive list of prior match ups. Ludwig holds victories over notable martial artists including Yves Edwards, Jonathan Goulet, and Jens Pulver. “Bang’s” list of losses is topped by a submission loss to BJ Penn, along with technical knockout losses to Takanori Gomi and Paul Daley.
While his record may not exactly stand out when compared to many other UFC lightweights, the level of competition Ludwig has faced certainly does. Competing against the likes of Penn, Gomi, Daley, and Pulver is quite the lineup, and remains a distinct advantage for him over his relatively inexperienced opponent. However, experience and level of competition are not the only advantages Ludwig will hold over Elkins when they face off later this month.
Ludwig began his career in martial arts at the ripe age of 15 when he began studying Muay Thai. He went on to train with acclaimed mixed martial artist Bas Rutten during the early part of his career and began his rise in the sport. Fight after fight, Ludwig’s reputation continued to grow, and with incredible knockout victories over Jens Pulver and Jonathan Goulet, he garnered the reputation as one of the most dangerous strikers in all the sport.
However, Ludwig’s list of strengths does not stop there, as his training at Grudge Sports in Denver, CO is just another reason the stand up ace continues to be a rising force in the sport. Training under coaches Trevor Wittman and Mike Van Arsdale, Ludwig’s time at Grudge Sports is certainly well spent and should prove an incredible benefit the next time he steps into the Octagon.
Between his lengthy career, high level of competition, and dominant striking game, Ludwig has the tools and the opportunity to take a big step in the right direction in the UFC lightweight division when he faces Elkins at “UFC Live: Vera vs. Jones” on March 21 in Broomfield, Colorado. Elkins will prove a difficult test due to his youth, capability to finish the fight, and wrestling background. However, with the resume Ludwig brings to the table, it’s hard to pick against him.